Mick Schumacher, Bahrain International Circuit, 2019

Sainz “feels for” his fellow famous son Mick Schumacher

2019 F1 season

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Carlos Sainz Jnr says he empathises with Mick Schumacher because he also has also experienced the challenges which come with having a famous surname.

Schumacher is the son of seven-times F1 world champion Michael Schumacher while Sainz’s father was twice World Rally Champion Carlos Sainz. Mick Schumacher found himself in the media spotlight in Bahrain which was his first race weekend as an F2 driver and followed the announcement of his first Formula 1 test with Ferrari.

Sainz said when he started racing his rivals were particularly keen to beat him because he is the son of a famous driver.

“When I was go-karting, especially, I just felt a lot of people were looking at me and my results and the way I was going. A lot of kids, racing drivers were just focusing a bit more on me because of being ‘the son of’.

“It’s something I ended up embracing and getting used to. Although at the time it was tough. I just tried to take the positives from it. Having a double world champion as a father it made me a better driver today.

“I think [Schumacher’s] getting a lot of attention these few last weeks because of the F1 test and that’s why I feel for him. But sometimes media attention is also not bad. I think he’s in a good place right now.”

Carlos Sainz Jnr, McLaren, Bahrain International Circuit, 2019
Sainz: “I realised I need to start fighting a bit more”
According to Sainz his experience of being targeted by his young rivals taught him to be more aggressive.

“Kids sometimes are a bit mean. You want to beat that guy, I want to beat the son of Carlos Sainz more than any other one because maybe his father is watching or more people are watching. When I was a kid, definitely that was a thing that I didn’t like.

“And until my dad told me ‘either you fight or you get beaten’, when he told me that I realised I need to start fighting a bit more, if not I’m going to get beaten too often.

“Suddenly I started being a bit more aggressive and I started earning a bit more respect because I didn’t realise I was being a bit too nice, maybe, a bit too friendly with everyone, just wanting to get everyone’s approval. I started being a bit more aggressive and it was better, definitely.”

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19 comments on “Sainz “feels for” his fellow famous son Mick Schumacher”

  1. While I do understand Sainz’s statements about being a target… or the guy that everyone wanted to beat, I really don’t think he can compare his plight to that of Schumacher’s.

    Schumacher is one of the biggest, if not the biggest name in motorsport. Mick’s dad is the most successful driver of all time in F1. I’m sure people not only wanted to beat Mick, but the enormous expectation from Mick at a very young age from the world of motorsport and the media must have been ridiculous. I don’t think Sainz ever had that kind of expectation on him at all. Also, give the current situation of Michael itself, the constant pressure of the media must have been adding a different dynamic to Mick’s psyche.

    Sainz Jr. is playing in the little leagues when it came to living up to his father’s name, Mick is playing a whole other ball game.

    1. James Coulee
      23rd April 2019, 8:38

      Not in the Spanish context, of course: over there, Sainz was bigger than Schumacher, and I recon Jr. was referring to the beginnings of his career.

    2. I don’t think Sainz ever had that kind of expectation on him at all.

      For an outsider/third person its easy for us to compare the bigger of the two dads and say Mick must be feeling the pressure more.
      On a mental level, its impossible for us to get a measure of what Sainz Jnr felt.

      1. @webtel Agreed. I think @todfod is making assumptions about the level of pressure on sons based on the level of fame of the fathers. If Sainz felt pressure he felt pressure and who are we to know differently from our armchairs.

        I didn’t get the impression that Mick was being or has been hounded by media although I admit I don’t scour all the European F1 coverage so I’m not sure. I just had the sense that he was being quite sheltered exactly because of who is Dad is and because of the situation his Dad has been in which of course has also been kept very private.

        Going back to when nobody even knew who MS was, Jacques Villenueve in his youth racing in Japan was indeed hounded by media because of his name. He was expected to win, and what he has said many times of that experience was that it taught him early on how to deal with media, and it also taught him how to handle pressure as he had loads of it heaped on him prematurely. Expectations were high towards him. It also taught him how to be his own person because he always knew there was no way he could fill his Dad’s shoes in the same manner his Dad did in his career. Of course we all have our own fingerprint, but people like JV had to make doubly sure within himself and toward others that he was not his Dad Gilles, and would have to forge his own path.

        1. Lol just noticed too, there’s Nico, son of Keke in the background of the pic above with Mick, and of course we also have Max in F1, son of Jos.

        2. I just had the sense that he was being quite sheltered exactly because of who is Dad is and because of the situation his Dad has been in which of course has also been kept very private.

          Aye. His name might come up every now and then but how much of that weighs him down is something only he can tell and perhaps we can infer over time. From what i have seen and read, he is handling them all (media,expectations, etc) very well.
          I think a few weeks ago, Dieter had some good words about his calmness and the way he carries himself in the paddock.

    3. @todfod in Spain Sainz Sr is a legend and everyone know him… I think it is comparable. Every Spanish kid would want to tell their friends “I beat the son of Carlos Sainz”.

      Sure the expectation nowadays on Mick is on another level, but the experience until now must’ve been similar to Carlos

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        23rd April 2019, 15:09

        @fer-no65 I think Sainz is well known amongst motorsport fans but not from the general public. Sainz Jr joining F1 was never an international headline outside of F1 whereas Schumacher Jr will be.

        If Sainz wins a race, it’ll be covered like any other drive winning a race. Can you imagine the fanfare when/if Mick wins a race? It’ll be front page news in the UK.

        1. @petebaldwin fair point and I agree with that but I think Carlos is talking about the pressure inside races, among other competitors, not the pressure from the “outside” like the press and general public.

  2. Jonathan Parkin
    23rd April 2019, 10:54

    There is also the fact that his Uncle raced in F1 too

    1. Lol! Yeah! The nephew of the mighty Ralf!

  3. Mmmm, interesting for Sainz to bring this up…

    Having very successful fathers must be a blessing and a curse in the Motorsport world…

    But racing in a different series must be easier than the direct comparisons to their fathers…

    Sebastian loeb has a son? People won’t care so much if he doesn’t do rally.. I barely think about comparing Sainz to his father

    Mick will have every pressure in the world on him trying to race in f1…

    Direct comapisons

  4. Yes – I really feel sorry for 2 extremely privileged multi millionaires who get to race cars for a living.

  5. robinsonf1 (@)
    23rd April 2019, 14:26

    Yeah… he doesn’t get much sympathy from me. The kid disguised his name so he could get on with the rookie part of his career reasonably unnoticed and now that he wants to get an F1 seat he uses his name as marketing leverage. All I hope is that the system is fair and that, when the time comes to bring in another rookie, they’re picked on merit rather than on their name (a little naivety is OK from time to time!).

  6. If I’m totally honest, never heard of Sainz senior, shameful me…

  7. Sainz jr is the new Button. Beaten by his team mates for most of his career, still widly regarded as a top driver. Being son of Sainz was a blessing to Jr.

  8. This is ridiculous. Nothing quite like those born into wealth and privilege whining about it. If Mick was called Schicklgruber he would have zero chance of being in F1. I am unsure about Sainz making it without the name, but he could go volunteer in villages in Africa if it is such a burden.

    1. I don’t think he is whining…just explaining a reality of being a famous driver’s son who is a racer himself. It is not these drivers fault so much at is the media who hounds these guys, but also fans who like to absorb this kind of tabloid-type media such that ‘reporters’ go after any little tidbit due to the ‘demand’ for it.

  9. Too many sons of drivers still. Just highlights that entry to F1 is not possible for most unless you have connections.

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